There's a new comic book television series in town, and it's like nothing you have ever seen before. With an alcoholic Texas preacher, an Irish vampire, and a career criminal called Tulip, Preacher is a far cry from the superhero shows that we know and love, in the best possible way.
Based on the comic series of the same name by writer Garth Ennis, the show puts a new spin on the story while keeping all the best bits intact. After watching the pilot at SXSW, I can reassure fans of the books that this is everything we want from a Preacher series, with enough twists to keep devoted readers guessing. It's not surprising that this show is looking so fantastic, either. Produced by funnyman and fan Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and with inspired casting, it's time to meet the dream team bringing Jesse Custer & Co. to life.
Behind The Scenes
Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
When it comes to comic adaptation, who knows the characters better than the original creators? Garth Ennis and his regular partner in comic-book crime, artist Steve Dillon, were the minds behind the books, and both have been brought on to the show as writers. It's not Ennis' first time writing live-action, either. He was involved in both the film and TV versions of Constantine (due to his work on the Hellblazer comics), so if you loved seeing Matt Ryan last year, you will appreciate the same touch for Preacher. These two are bringing a true comic book aesthetic to the series, and it shows in how visually stunning the pilot is.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
The biggest name attached to the project, Seth Rogen, is known for his comedy, but don't let that fool you. Preacher has its moments of levity, but those are balanced beautifully by the darkness of the source material. Working with longtime friend Evan Goldberg, Rogen reminds us that they are passionate about the comics - this is a series that the two have wanted to do for some time, and it shows. At the Television Association Critics Press Tour, Rogen reminded us that Preacher is close to his heart: "We’re fans of the comic," he said. "We love the comic. And we’re going to make a show that we like, so we hope that translates to people that love the comics, as well." And let's not forget that while the Preacher comics are dark and gory, there is humor at the heart of them.
The final writer on the series is Sam Catlin, best known for his work on the award-winning Breaking Bad - and if that doesn't get you excited for the series, I don't know what will! Preacher is another series with a focus on a desperate man who goes to extraordinary lengths (and some very dark places) to get what he wants, and Catlin is sure to do more incredible work here. One of the best things that he has brought to this show is his writing process. At SXSW, the team revealed that they spent the first three months getting on the same page before even committing anything to paper: "We just sat in a room for three months talking... until you could ask any of us a question and we would all have the same answer."
Dominic Cooper (Jesse Custer)
If you are a superhero fan, you probably already know of Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark from Agent Carter and Captain America: The First Avenger. Preacher is a bit of a leap from those roles, seeing as Jesse Custer is a heavy-drinking, despairing man in a small Texas town (not a polished and confident tech genius in LA), but Cooper nails it. From the Texas drawl to the quiet despair, Cooper is every inch the perfect Jesse.
Ruth Negga (Tulip)
Another actor with roots in the MCU, fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may recognize Negga for her role as eager Inhuman, Raina. In Preacher, she is kicking ass and taking... helicopters down as Tulip, originally Jesse Custer's ex-girlfriend and a professional hitwoman and career criminal. She may not look quite like the buxom blonde from the comics, but Negga brings a charm and swagger to Tulip that is an absolute pleasure to watch.
Joseph Gilgun (Cassidy)
One of the best casting decisions that Rogen and Golberg made was to turn Gilgun loose as Cassidy. The hard-drinking, drug-addicted vampire is a perfect role for the tattooed Misfits star. Gilgun is known for his work as the off-beat criminal element type, and he does an incredible job coming to grips with some of the more brutal action scenes in the pilot.
The Perfect Mix
With directors and writers who are deeply committed to creating the perfect Preacher, the comic creators on board, and casting that feels like it was predestined, all the pieces are in place for Preacher to become the next Walking Dead of comic book TV.
Preacher comes to AMC Sunday, May 22nd 2016!